As a child of the ‘60s, I grew up in an era when anyone looking to put a little fun in their driving had really just two choices: a Detroit muscle car or a British sports car. Either way, you knew you’d be spending plenty of weekends tinkering and tweaking to keep your wheels running. Friends with a Triumph Spitfire or MGB often would have two, one serving as a parts donor.
No surprise, then, that by the late 1980s those British 2-seaters had largely vanished from our shores, leaving a gap that was unexpectedly filled by a quirky little Japanese car company named Mazda. Best known for the rotary-powered RX-7 and an assortment of little economy cars, the Hiroshima-based automaker took a bold chance on trying something completely different, dubbing its new offering the Miata.
These days, It’s known by the slightly longer name, the MX-5 Miata, but whatever you choose to call it, our first drive in the all-new 2016 roadster brings to mind the way we described the first Miata a quarter-century ago: the best British sports car the Japanese have ever built.